Case Study: Employee Engagement in Waste Minimization – Ashland

Case Study: Employee Engagement in Waste Minimization – Ashland

The right partnership and a culture of sustainability make a big difference.

Employees at Ashland Consumer Markets (ACM) East Rochester, Pa., site have taken on the challenge to decrease environmental impact by curbing energy usage, reusing, reducing and recycling waste. In the past two years, ACM facilities across the globe have combined to recycle approximately 8.3 million pounds of materials while reducing the amount of solid waste generated by 10 percent. There has been significant effort placed on educating employees on conserving, eliminating, reducing and recycling waste.

As a leader in recycling and waste reduction, the East Rochester plant initiated the program more than three years ago by establishing housekeeping and maintenance standards that eliminated many leaks and drips, thus reducing oily water shipments. The ACM engineering group even designed a drip less sample port that eliminated drips and collection buckets that were always a challenge to manage. In the past, these containers collected storm water, additives and oil that ended up as a waste stream rather than being used in product. In the past fiscal year, the site reduced its oily waste shipments by 99,000 pounds.

The team then identified the next opportunity – reduce waste generated from operations. Their mission was to make recycling convenient and easy so that it can be sustained. Employees set up a central collection area by the plant maintenance shop to collect and segregate miscellaneous waste for recycling. Teaming up with the right recycler also made a big difference. The recycler takes all of the site’s recycled materials, allowing for more frequent shipments and less storage. “If sorting materials is a challenge for other sites, consider teaming up with recyclers that will take mixed materials and sort the waste streams,” suggested Mike Critchlow, plant manager at the East Rochester site.

The results are significant – last fiscal year, East Rochester reduced its overall solid waste generation by 48 percent and increased recycled materials by 26 percent. “Our sustainable successes in increasing our recycling efforts and decreasing solid waste generation could not be accomplished without the efforts of all of our employees,” said Critchlow. “In East Rochester, our team has been extra diligent in ensuring all items that can be recycled are placed in the proper receptacle. Recycling has become sustainable and is part of our culture.”

ACM’s Ten Team and operations manager at the ACM Cincinnati facility are now standardizing East Rochester’s practices across the ACM supply chain. For example, the Cincinnati and East Rochester plants both changed their recycling companies and the new company began accepting many materials that had previously been land filled as solid waste.

[This case study was featured in the GEMI Quick Guide for Engaging Employees in Sustainability.]

FedEx Global Citizenship Report

FedEx Releases 2014 Global Citizenship Report

MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 2, 2015 — FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) announced today the online release of its 2014 Global Citizenship Report (GCR). Now in its seventh year of publication, the GCR tracks the company’s efforts to connect the world in responsible and resourceful ways.

Among the most notable accomplishments detailed in this year’s GCR, FedEx made significant strides in its commitment to environmental impacts, saving 100 million gallons of jet fuel at FedEx Express and avoiding more than 976,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. The accomplishments were results from FedEx® Fuel Sense and aircraft modernization programs. Since 2007, Fuel Sense initiatives have collectively saved the company more than 330 million gallons of jet fuel, the equivalent of 500 Olympic-size swimming pools.

“What you see in this report is a testament to the extensive work of more than 325,000 global team members,” said Mitch Jackson, vice president of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, FedEx Corp. “We connect people and possibilities on six continents, and we work to do so responsibly and resourcefully. Whether that’s reducing emissions, improving pedestrian and road safety or using our logistical expertise to help others in times of disaster, we aim to deliver a brighter future and link people to thriving markets and economies.”

FedEx connects more than 90% of the world’s GDP and has a presence in 220 countries and territories. As represented in its logo, the company moves possibilities forward and applies that concept to its efforts of improving economic development, the environment, communities and people.

Highlights from this year’s GCR include:

Economic Development

In its fiscal year 2014, FedEx revenue grew by 3% and its operating margin rose to 7.6%. This economic activity creates wealth and opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders. Now in the 10th year of collaboration, FedEx and the U.S. Commercial Service helped provide trade education to more than 72,000 businesses. FedEx also invested $6.5 billion in diverse supplier spending, which includes small, minority and women owned businesses.


FedEx Express improved its vehicle fuel efficiency by an additional 2.5%, bringing the cumulative improvement to 29.5% from a 2005 baseline. Having nearly achieved its goal of 30% by 2020, the company expects to surpass and then revisit that goal in 2015. FedEx also opened two new facilities that generate on-site solar energy, bringing the cumulative total to 11. Together, these solar facilities produced more than 8 million kWh of electricity, avoiding 3,145 metric tons of carbon emissions. FedEx was again recognized in 2014 as one of the Top 25 solar-generating companies in the U.S.

FedEx donated its network and logistics expertise to assist in the movement of more than 140 pallets of vital medical supplies to West Africa to counter the recent Ebola outbreak. Collectively, FedEx provided more than 6.7 million pounds of charitable shipping and more than $45 million in charitable contributions.


FORTUNE again ranked FedEx as one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies”. Since 2001, FedEx has ranked among the top 20 in this list that looks at financial performance and corporate reputation. FedEx also ranked among the “40 Best Companies for Diversity” by Black Enterprise Magazine in 2014.

FedEx undertook a robust materiality analysis this year with internal and external stakeholders to help refine its global citizenship strategy and to ensure it continues to address areas of maximum impact. The results of this assessment reconfirmed its current strategy but, in the next year, FedEx plans to again review issues to ensure that the company measures and manages what matters most and moves possibilities forward.

GEMI Winter Meeting

GEMI winter meeting addresses materiality assessment for corporate sustainability reporting

Members examine best practices for analyzing materiality and aligning sustainability and corporate strategies

Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, convened its members for GEMI’s winter meeting focused on methods for assessing sustainability materiality and how best to customize an approach for a company’s specific business needs. GEMI member Sealed Air hosted the meeting, themed “Materiality Part II: How to Take Action,” at its Packforum Americas facility in Atlanta on March 11-12.

“GEMI’s materiality meeting offered our membership the opportunity to learn from and work with highly credible corporate sustainability guest experts who shared their experiences in training corporate sustainability leaders, building reporting frameworks and helping companies sync business and sustainability strategies and metrics,” said Bill Gill, assistant vice president, Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Foods, and chair, GEMI. “This facilitated a lively forum for our members to share their experiences and brainstorm ways to fine-tune their programs.”

The meeting included guest speakers from Hedstrom Associates, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), KPMG and BSR. These experts discussed corporate sustainability leadership development needs, accounting standards, data-sourcing methods and materiality reporting frameworks – including Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Integrated Reporting (IR) and newcomer SASB.

“We used what we learned from our guest speakers on the first day in our second-day working session to build a framework for GEMI’s upcoming Materiality 101 Quick Guide,” said Stan Mierzejewski, senior manager, Sustainability, Tennant, and chair, Tools Work Group, GEMI. “As an organization, GEMI is not only committed to staying ahead of sustainability issues and reporting strategies, but we produce business solutions and tools, such as our quick guides, to help others manage emerging sustainability challenges for their businesses.”

GEMI will publish its Materiality 101 guide in late 2015, and it will be publicly available with complementary material accessible to members only.

The GEMI summer meeting will focus on water issues and will be held in Milwaukee, Wis., on July 7-8, 2015. Non-member companies considering membership may be allowed to join one complimentary meeting. For more information about GEMI, membership benefits and upcoming meetings, visit

For More Information Contact:
Monica MacKay, 262.563.5665

About GEMI
GEMI is the global leader in developing insights, networking, and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business. For 25 years, GEMI has captured the vision and experience of global corporate environmental, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability leaders from diverse business sectors through the development of a wide range of publicly-available, solutions-based tools designed to help companies improve the environment, their operations and add business value.

Gannett Fleming Joins GEMI

Newest member brings architecture/engineering/construction expertise to EHS group

 Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, today announced the addition of its newest member company, Gannett Fleming. Gannett Fleming is a global infrastructure firm that provides planning, design, technology and construction management services for a diverse range of markets and disciplines. It is the first architecture/engineering/construction firm to join GEMI.

“We are very pleased that Gannett Fleming has joined GEMI,” said Roland Mostovy, Sustainability Program manager, Ashland Inc., and GEMI’s membership chair. “We are particularly pleased that we will have the opportunity to work with, learn from and share with the Gannett Fleming sustainability team, who has a solid history of working with GEMI and a number of our member companies.”

Mark Johnson, vice president and Corporate Sustainability Officer, Gannett Fleming, will be the senior representative to GEMI.

“Like GEMI, we are committed to staying on the leading edge of sustainability issues and developing world-class solutions. Connecting with other industry leaders who share the same passion enables us to expand our knowledge and connections and, thereby, our ability to deliver the most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable solutions for our clients,” said Johnson.

“GEMI provides an opportunity for our members to collaborate on sustainability solutions, develop tools and resources to solve sustainability challenges and create world-class meetings for networking and discussion,” said Bill Gill, assistant vice president, Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Foods, and chair, GEMI. “The knowledge and experience of the Gannett Fleming team will be a real asset to GEMI as the organization works to advance sustainable business solutions to emerging sustainability challenges.”